By Expedia Guest Author, on May 12, 2015

Planning a destination proposal

Every now and then we publish guest posts written by friends, partners, and colleagues. This post, written by our buddies at Ritani, pulls together tips for planning the perfect destination proposal. Be sure to tune in for this week’s ExpediaChat on May 13 at 11 a.m. PDT, during which we’ll be giving away diamond stud earrings valued at a minimum of US$225, as well as a US$500 travel voucher for travel booked on Expedia.

Proposing on vacation increasingly is an popular choice for those wanting to make the moment extra-special. Whether your partner knows about the trip or it’s a total surprise, popping the question away from home can be very romantic and memorable.

We are a fine jewelry company specializing in engagement rings, so, naturally, we get a lot of questions about the process. These are some of the most frequently asked questions from Ritani customers on how to make a destination proposal perfect.

What if I can’t decide which ring setting is right for her in time for the trip?

If you are unsure of the exact engagement ring style she’ll love, don’t rush into the decision. Peek at her Pinterest page. Make a casual stop by the mall jeweler for hints. You also can plan to have her pick out the perfect ring for herself.

Ritani CEO Brian Watkins took this last route when proposing and recommends it for those having trouble choosing. Brian worked at Blue Nile as the head of diamond-buying at the time, and chose between two of their most stunning round diamonds. He proposed with the loose diamond, and, when she was ready, his fiancée chose the engagement ring setting of her dreams. Who knows? Coming home from a romantic getaway to have your partner pick out the exact ring she wants just might be the ideal scenario for her, too. 

How can I travel safely with the engagement ring before proposing on vacation?

Once you purchase a ring, we recommend getting your engagement ring insured as soon as possible. Typically, basic homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover these types of items, so look at your existing policy to see what extra jewelry insurance coverage you might need. It may be that a simple travel insurance package will suffice, but do your research to be sure.

If you are flying to your destination, keep the ring safe in a nondescript box packed with carry-on luggage. You don’t want to have it in your pocket while going through security, as it might attract the attention of TSA agents (which could spoil the surprise for your partner). Once on the plane, keep the bag under the seat in front of you so it doesn’t have a chance of being confused with someone else’s by mistake. 

We’re having a destination wedding. Should we take our real wedding rings for the ceremony, or wait until we return to start wearing them?

You can take your real wedding rings to exchange during the ceremony and enjoy wearing them as newlyweds. With that said, there are a few precautions we recommend to keep your bands safe. Again, if you are flying, keep them in your carry-on luggage and don’t take them out until you reach your destination. If you spend time swimming or doing other outdoors activities, leave them in your room. Many hotels and resorts have safes that will keep their guests’ valuables secure.

Photos from Dale Lutchman and Paige Martin

Some couples having destination weddings opt to start wearing their new jewelry once they’re home from the celebrations. Others temporarily wear inexpensive rings so that they “feel married.” You can do whatever you’d like. It really depends on your comfort level with the value and emotional significance of your new rings. 

Should I approach wedding dress/outfit-shopping differently if it’s a destination wedding?

You might want to, depending on where you live and where you are planning to get married. If the climates are similar, the only other element to consider will be the type occasion. A casual beach wedding obviously will call for a more relaxed ensemble than a formal hotel reception. If you are traveling to a warmer climate, shopping online may make it easier to find appropriately seasonal clothing.

Don’t forget to shop beyond the wedding gown or suit. Think about jewelry, shoes, make-up, and bags that will complement your choice of outfit and keep you comfortable on the big day.

Is it acceptable for my fiancé and me to shop for engagement rings and wedding bands together? Is there a rule against doing this?

While tradition dictates that a man would present an engagement ring to his future wife without her input, times certainly have changed. Many couples now shop together and really enjoy the process, learning more about each other’s tastes along the way (and ultimately choosing wedding bands that pair beautifully).

Ritani’s free in-store preview offer allows customers to design a custom ring online, then try it on at a (participating) jeweler for free before purchasing. It’s a great way to choose a ring together and make sure that it’s perfect with no risk or obligation to buy.

Do you have more questions about engagement ring-shopping or destination proposals and weddings? Join the Ritani and Expedia teams on Twitter for a live chat this Wednesday, May 13, 2015, at 11 a.m. PDT; just follow the hashtag, #ExpediaChat.

Find more inspiration on the Expedia Pinterest Board.